Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
A BULAWAYO elderly woman recently got the shock of her life when she was proclaimed dead by officials at the Registrar-General’s Office while trying to access a death certificate for her late sister.
Enelia Nkala, 85, from Mzilikazi suburb said she was shocked to learn that her national identification card belonged to a dead woman.
“My only sister, Jessy, passed away last year in October and when I tried to process her death certificate in March, I was told that I was dead. This naturally surprised me. How can they confirm my death when I was carrying my ID? How did they come to certify me dead?” asked an apparently puzzled Nkala.
She said the RG’s office blunder traumatised her family members who also failed to understand the reason for proclaiming her dead.
“It was difficult for us to stomach. This is un-African. What if I had died some days after they’d told me I was dead? How was my family going to bury me without a valid ID because to process a burial order you need the deceased’s ID? My ID according to the RG’s office belongs to a dead person,” said Nkala.
She said it has taken three months for the RG’s office to sort out its mess as she had to file affidavits just to be cleared to use her ID.
“I had to write an affidavit on March 25, informing the Registrar of my predicament. I was finally cleared to use my ID last month. However, I feel compelled to inform members of the public of the sloppiness that exists at the RG’s office,” said Nkala.
The Chronicle is in possession of the affidavit that was submitted by Nkala to the RG offices, signed and stamped by the police.
Bulawayo provincial registrar, Jane Peters, professed ignorance over the matter.
“I don’t know anything about that. She can tell you about the issue.
“It was never brought to my office. Which office did she go to? What was she looking for when she was told that?” asked Peters.